He was considered one of the top players in all of college football, before opting out of the 2020 season. His draft stock took a bit of a hit over the last few months, but he still went in the top portion of the first round, landing on a Dallas roster in need of a serious defensive talent infusion.
Cornerbacks Jaycee Horn (Carolina Panthers, No. 8) and Patrick Surtain II (Denver Broncos, No. 9), went ahead of Parsons among defensive players, in what was a very offense-heavy first round. ESPN college football analysts Desmond Howard and David Pollack like the former Nittany Lions standout to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, though.
“I’m going with the favorite. Micah Parsons is a freak show,” Pollack said on this morning’s special edition of College GameDay. “He can blitz, he’s going to make so many of those splash plays of sacking the quarterback, making interceptions, knocking people in the face. Going to a really bad defense that should be turned around and America’s Team that everybody pays attention to.”
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Howard, a fellow Big Ten alumnus from Michigan, agreed. He cited Parsons’ incredible combination of size and speed.
“I like Micah Parsons,” Howard said. “What is there not to like about this guy? His size, runs a 4.3, he can go sideline-to-sideline, very physical. He plays with a very mean demeanor. I had a conversation with (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and he said, ‘When you’re a linebacker, you want to be a guy that can do it all, you want to be a three-down guy.’ Micah Parsons is a three-down linebacker.”
Linebacker, like running back across the line of scrimmage, has fallen off in terms of positional value in the NFL Draft. To take a guy at that spot super high, he either needs to be an elite pass rusher, or a true do-it-all player who can be the centerpiece of the defense for years. Micah Parsons should be able to fill the bill there for the Dallas Cowboys.